Who has priority on a mixed train?

Discussion in 'Model Rail Operations' started by MasonJar, Aug 8, 2007.

  1. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    So how does a mixed train operate?

    The way I understand it, mixed trains come into being after railroads realized that passenger revenues were not covering the full expense of operating the route. That's why they got mail contracts, and other "through" freight (express) tagged on, or rather the passengers got added to the express - but these were still run as "passenger" trains for the most part.

    But in the case of the branchline, a passenger car would often be hitched on the back end of what amounts to a way freight.

    So how did this operate? Was the passenger car set out at the station while the engine switched the local industries? Did the passengers just have to "hang on" and endure the switching? Or were they left out of the way, down the line somewhere until the engine returned to pull them into the station?

    Any information or insights appreciated!

  2. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Andrew,A mixed train operated like any other local when doing en route switching..The combine would be treated like a caboose including facing point moves-remember more then likely there was more REA deliveries from Sears in the baggage compartment of the combine then passengers in the coach section.
    Now at the end terminal the combine would be spotted at the station while the crew went about their work.Now prior to departure time the engine would be turned as well as the combine..In later diesel years just the combine would be turned..However,like all things railroad the combine may not be turned and in some rare cases a steam locomotive could make the return trip tender first with the head brakeman riding the top of the tender looking out ahead.Not a very good place to be during inclement weather..
  3. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    :v8: Treating it like a caboose makes sense...! This is the "caboose era" that we're talking about. Can't believe I didn't think of that. 'Course the packages (that would be the T. Eaton Co. in Canada ;)) do add an interesting dimension.

    Thanks Larry. :thumb: :thumb:

  4. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Andrew,I would like to share a story with you concerning REA/Sears shipments. In '55 or '56 my dad and I went to Chillicothe(Oh) to railfan the DT&I,N&W and of course the B&O.While at the B&O station a short local passenger rolled in with a Pacific and 4 cars.Even though I was 7 or 8 I remember that train well because of the cussing( being protected from profanity as a child-remember those old values?)the crew and station baggage man was doing while removing a rather large box from the baggage/express car and on to a hand cart rather then a regular baggage cart-perhaps (and as a guess) a warning read "Keep this end up-do not lay flat!".Of course I do not know the details but,have often wonder over the years if that was a stove or refrigerator from Sears after I learn many such items was shipped by REA..
  5. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Great story!

    I can't imagine the cussing that would have gone with some of the Eaton's shipments - they sold houses by mail during the first half of the 20th century...! :eek:

    Somehow I don't think those would have gone by express... ;)

  6. slekjr

    slekjr Member

    During the 1980's PBS did some video by Jean Shepard (Christmas Story). I think it was "the Great American Forth of July and other disasters" that they went to pick up a Sears home delivered in box cars. It was hilarious.

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